Board of Ordained Ministry

Steps Into Certification

Call to MinistryThe church’s need for individuals who can serve to the best of their ability makes certification by The United Methodist Church increasingly important.

Three Tracks for Certification in The United Methodist Church

  • Professional
  • Undergraduate
  • Paraprofessional

Each track is available in nine areas of specialized ministry:

  • Camp/Retreat Ministry
  • Children’s Ministry
  • Christian Education
  • Evangelism
  • Ministry with the Poor
  • Music Ministry
  • Older Adult Ministry
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Youth Ministry

Professional Certification

Professional certification is the United Methodist Church’s recognition that an individual has been called, made a commitment to serve and has fulfilled the required standards for academic training, experience, and continuing study to serve with excellence in an area of specialized ministry. The church certification in specialized ministry offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) was born of the desire of individuals to serve the church with excellence and more effectively.

Professional certification provides biblical and theological training, knowledge of The United Methodist Church structure and resources, skill development, support, and accountability.

Professional certification is available to lay persons, ordained deacons and elders, diaconal ministers, and local pastors who have an undergraduate degree and take certification courses at graduate level credit and meet the GBHEM’s.

Download PDF for Certification Requirements and Application Process

Undergraduate Certification

Undergraduate certification is available by taking an undergraduate degree at one of the United Methodist-related colleges whose programs have been approved by GBHEM and then completing two years employment in the area of specialized ministry.

After two years of employment and at least two years membership in The United Methodist Church, application should be made to the GBHEM on Form 323790, Application for Professional Certification. A copy should be sent to the certification registrar of the applicant’s annual conference BOM. In both instances, copies of transcripts should be sent with the application.

To request additional information on United Methodist-related colleges with approved undergraduate programs, send an email to or go to the GBHEM web site at

Download PDF for Certification Requirements and Application Process

Paraprofessional Certification

Paraprofessional certification is available to persons who may not have an undergraduate degree and are working in areas of specialized ministry. Not all paraprofessional certification courses carry academic credit. This certification is designed for those seeking training in a specialized ministry as a worker or volunteer.

Those seeking paraprofessional certification should complete a program approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. These programs are available through some jurisdictions, annual conferences, colleges and seminaries. See for approved programs.

Download PDF for Certification Requirements and Application Process